Lorraine Whoberry, On September 24, 2010, I had the honor of attending your “Impact of Victimization” presentation at the Liberty University School of Law in Lynchburg, Virginia. Although we had met before, I had never had the opportunity to hear your presentation or to hear about your experience. As the lawyer representing Paul Powell, who committed the crimes against your daughters Stacie and Kristie, I had a unique interest in hearing your views. I was not disappointed. Your presentation should be mandatory for all who work with victims of trauma. Whether they be police, clergy, doctors, nurses, prosecutors, judges or defense lawyers, they could all learn valuable lessons from your presentation. Your presentation gives expression to a view rarely heard from. I would not be surprised if none of these professionals have ever received feedback from victims of trauma as to how their behavior changed the events and experience from the eyes of the person most affected. Your multi-media presentation was also engaging and extremely moving, bringing the audience to tears several times. I know that I, as well as many others in the room, was surprised by many of the insights you shared during your presentation and I will always value what I learned from you that day. Please continue your mission to bring this message to others. Jonathan P. Sheldon Attorney Jon Sheldon Defense Attorney of Paul Powell Fairfax, Virginia
Lorraine, I wanted to write this letter just to say, how important it was to have ever come into contact with you, meet you, and hear your story. Let me explain, my wife, Holly, attended a victim’s gathering where you spoke downtown in Cincinnati. Here also was my victim’s mother. At this speech she told me of your story, the horrific things you and your daughters experienced, and the impact it had on her about forgiveness. She sent me a copy of it through the mail, and when I received it, it brought me to tears in my cell. Why? Because forgiveness was something I knew little about, much less knowing how to forgive myself. You see at the time, I was doing public speaking to first offenders at CRC and other inmates, and I was trying to tell them the importance of accountability, and about God, and the path to stay on when getting to prison. I told them of my struggles and the troubles I had gone through when I first came to prison, the type of person I used to be, and I encouraged them not to travel the path that I had traveled. However, I became burdened after my first few speeches, because I realized I had not been completely honest in my talks. I realized I was encouraging these inmates to be accountable for their crimes, when I myself had not been fully accountable for my own actions. I felt shame, I felt guilt, and I saw that I was basically manipulating my situation to make myself appear better than I really was by telling half truths.. When I read your story, I not only broke down in tears, but I saw you as a reflection of what I hoped to have someday from my victims mother. Your story gave me hope, and it enabled me to see that forgiveness was possible. See, I saw myself and the crime I committed as the lowest thing a person could do to their friend. I hated myself . But I saw that if a mother like you, who had experienced what you did, not only survived , but found it in her heart to FORGIVE a murderer and the heinous act that was committed against her and her daughters… if she could forgive a man after committing an act like that? Then I owe it to myself and everyone else to not only forgive , but I owe it to you, and victims like you to stop feeling sorry for myself, get up, and start living this life as the person God intended me to be. So I found the courage from this point to write my victim’s mother a full confession letter to what I had done. And although it didn’t make me look much better in anyone else’s eyes, it allowed me to confess my sins and be accountable for the life I took. What felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders all those years, was like a feather when I gave it to God, and asked His forgiveness. I wanted my victims mother to know her son did nothing wrong to me that night and that he was a good person. He didn’t deserve what I did out of my own prideful insecurities. From this moment on, I began speaking the truth to all the first time offenders I spoke to. I began dealing in truth period. I began to walk close to God by following Godly principles, and He took me from the dark place I was back then, He took me from the dark individual I used to be, who was still at a level three security, to a level one security and a mentor here at Marion Correctional. You’re a bright light Lorraine, in a very dark place for inmates like me. And if I’m honest, you helped me move forward in my life and your story helped me uncover layers and layers of self hatred, low self worth, and low self esteem. You helped me conquer my internal battle of self image, guilt, and shame…and what I found at my core after I lifted each blanket off of me through forgiveness, was my original bright light I always was, its all anyone has ever been. I thank you again for showing and expressing God’s love and forgiveness to me. Thank you, always, Dale.
Do you want to see university students, adult offenders, or juvenile offenders changed? It is hard to find words to express the IMPACT Lorraine’s presentations had on students at Indiana Wesleyan University, adult offenders at Miami Correctional Facility, IN and juvenile offenders at Grant County, IN Juvenile Detention Facility. I still marvel at the impact God had on so many through Lorraine’s testimony. Jack Brady IWU Jack Brady Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Criminal Justice Indiana Wesleyan University
I would like to briefly share what a blessing Lorraine Whoberry has been in my life. We became friends through the American Baptist Leadership Academy of Ohio three years ago. Over these years Lorraine has shared her journey with Jesus Christ with me, personally, and with my church. The congregation was deeply moved as they listened to the transformation she experienced through the power of forgiveness. I am grateful to know Lorraine Whoberry and her family; God has done an amazing work in their lives. I pray the Lord opens many doors in the future for them to share their testimony of perseverance, forgiveness and hope. Rev. Pamela A. Wantz Linden Avenue Baptist Church
I fully support the efforts of Lorraine Whoberry, the S.T.A.C.I.E. Foundation and the Heal My Wounds Prison Ministry Program. Any program designed and targeted to help and comfort others and that can be beneficial to the community at large is a very worthwhile project. Graycee Gates Family Violence Coordinator State of Illinois, Circuit Court Cook County
My wife Sue and I went to hear Lorraine Whoberry speak on Sun. May 6, 2012 at the First Congregational Church of Stanton, MI. Lorraine has an amazing and powerful testimony that deeply touched our hearts, and everyone in the congregation. Lorraine is humble, honest, truthful, and transparent. She is totally surrendered to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and she is filled with the Holy Spirit. Lorraine depends on the Holy Spirit to give her strength when she is sharing her story. It is not an easy story to tell. It brings back pain and deep emotion every time. Lorraine obediently and graciously tells her story, because she wants to see people set free from unforgiveness. When you hear Lorraine’s story, you will learn that every person who should have been there to help her in her time of greatest need, actually added to the crisis and intensified the trauma in the hours, days, and weeks after Stacie’s murder. In my over 35 years of pastoral experience, I have met very few believers with such a compelling story about personal tragedy and triumph through Jesus Christ. Our need to forgive the people who have wronged us is not a message we want to hear or the path we want to take. It is the most difficult thing we will ever be asked to do. But Lorraine will testify that it is the only way to experience true freedom and to live in peace with God, with ourselves, and with others. Forgiveness is a process, and a journey that takes time, effort, and God’s miraculous work in our heart. Please find a way to hear Lorraine speak in person. Then join me in spreading the word and encouraging churches, prisons, law enforcement agencies, the legal/justice system, EMT’s and emergency room doctors and staff to invite Lorraine to share her story with their people. You can make a difference in our world by helping to spread the word about Lorraine’s story and her ministry through the S.T.A.C.I.E. Foundation. Pastor John and Sue Smith, Grand Rapids, MI Pastor John W. Smith, M.Div., D.Min. Confidential Coach, PastorCare Network Education Services Marketing Director, Pregancy Resource Center, Associate Pastor, Living Word Christian Center, Artist Management, Substance Music
This is from a young man who is never going home. Mrs. Lorraine, I would like to thank you sincerely for sharing your testimony. I went to this classes event with my own preconceived notions that this was going to be loving at best and a complete waste of my time at worst. Good lord, was I ever wrong? Mrs. Lorraine you completely blew me away! I just think you are amazing. I believe wholeheartedly that you’re one of the strongest women that I’ve ever met. Realizing that I had only met and listened to you for 90 minutes only testifies to how strong your life’s story is. I feel sorry for your loss. I am thankful for your strength and perseverance so that I and others can listen, learn and grow from your words. I had wanted to ask you a question when you had finished speaking, however, I could not find the strength to talk. Your speech had left me without words and awe struck. Thank you so much for sharing. Your words mean so much and do make a difference. This letter was posted as he wrote it, his words. This young man is serving a life sentence and will never go home. We can’t forget his crime and have to remember he’s there for a reason. But also can’t forget that we serve a mighty God who gives us specific instructions: Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners’ Hebrews 13:3a, and I needed clothes and your clothed me,. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matthew 25:36 Please know I do not share these endorsements as to put myself above anyone else. I share these letters as a testament to our Lord and Savior that He and only He can touch a life and change a man’s heart so deeply. I’m merely the messenger God has called to be a voice to the voiceless, my daughter’s, Stacie. Thank you for your prayers and support of this amazing journey. Marion Correctional Facility, Ohio Victim Awareness Classes
Lorraine: I am still in awe of what God has done and what God continues to do in your life. I will never forget your visit here Tuesday night. Thank you so very much!!! Blessings/Chaplain Chaplain Mark Morrow Lakin Correctional Center – West Columbia, West Virginia
Hello Mrs. Lorraine, Thanks for putting a smile on my face by wishing me a Happy Birthday. I feel blessed and honored to have met you, and will add your family to my prayers. I am writing because I was touched by how eloquently you told the story of your tragedy, triumphs and personal struggles of your daughters. I believe God lead me to the gym that day so I could hear your story and to always remember the pain the family feels after being victimized by senseless crimes in our society. I want you to know I was encouraged by the things you spoke about, in particularly us being able to forgive ourselves. Ms. Lorraine I applaud the work you are able to do. Please continue traveling around the country and sharing your story with those of us who have caused the senseless crimes to families like yours, whose families hearts are full of pain. Know that upon me being arrested in 1993 for federal drug charges and a year later for murder charges, I began to ask God to change the person I had become. I prayed and worked hard to change my way of thinking and asked God to take me under His wings. I have surrendered myself to God, like you said and have repented for all my wrong doings I have done to those who was victimized by my behavior and crimes. Upon my incarceration I immediately begin to educate myself. I received my GED in 1995 and have recently enrolled with the University of Urbanna and have made the dean’s list. Something I never knew was possible until I applied myself. Mrs. Lorraine, keep telling your story to those who are in prison, because we need to hear how tragedy has impacted the families of our victims. I asked God to forgive me of my crimes and I have forgiven myself for becoming someone other than what God intended me to become. I will continue to educate myself and pray for people like you to enter into my life, because your story has changed my life forever. Thank you Mrs. Lorraine D’Juan 5.8.16
Dear Ms. Whoberry, Ever since you came to LOCI (London Correctional Institute) to share your story with us, I have been wanting to write to tell you how much I appreciated you sharing your story with us. I needed to hear your testimony. You showed me it was OK to forgive. Because of the hate, pain and shame that I felt towards myself, the hatred was so strong I could not look in the mirror because I could not look at the person that was looking back at me. Because of the choice I made to do drugs my mom lost her life. I took my moms life. I was so high on crack cocaine I do not even remember doing it. The woman who gave me life and I miss her every day. So as you can see, I was not open to forgiving myself. My family forgave me years ago. They never stopped loving me. Over the years, my family has asked me to let go of the pain and forgive myself. I have always been willing to try to forgive myself, but I could not fully commit. By forgiving myself, I felt like I was hurting my mom and my family all over again. I just could not do that to them again. After hearing your testimony, something happened. I knew it was time for me to embrace forgiveness. That’s what happened that day in the gym. I asked for forgiveness. Ms. Whoberry, I am not sure I would have been able to take that step towards forgiveness, had I not heard your story. One more thing, I almost did not show up to hear your story. It was meant to be. Thank you for helping me to be able to let all that hurt, pain and shame go. Thank you, Jeffrey 5.19.16
click the pause and play button to stop to read a endorsement.